Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/13/13 at 07:10 PM ET
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
At 22, the young man was in the eyes of many — perhaps even some in his own organization — no longer the present of Canadiens goaltending, much less its future.
Pierre Groulx had a front-row seat to the drama, completing his first year as the team’s goaltending coach. Groulx had been building a relationship with Price, as he had with Halak, throughout the season. And he knew, as Martin anointed Halak the Habs netminder for the playoffs, that Price was at a delicate, even critical crossroads.
“I don’t want to say that things were easy for Carey, but he learned then that being a goalie in the NHL is not easy,” Groulx says today. “You have to put the work and your heart into it. It doesn’t matter how much skill you have, the work still has to be put in.
“Carey realized in those playoffs that he got knocked down. It hit him hard at first and then he realized, ‘I can do one of two things: I can sulk or I can be the best teammate I can and work toward helping this team win. If it’s by sitting at the end of the bench, then that’s what my job is.’
“For him to realize that made his maturation process jump,” Groulx said. “His understanding of the game began right then and there. I saw a kid who was No. 1, and then he didn’t play. He had to take a step back and at first it was really tough for him. But after that, he understood his role. In the playoffs, I saw a guy who was starting to change, understanding that he wasn’t playing but was still a big part of the team.”
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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